The lifecycle of a popular social media tool goes something like this: Teens and early adopters pick it up, start using it and its popularity grows virally. The app eventually hits critical mass, brands take notice and start building their presence.
That’s around the time the platform’s makers realize that they should probably start figuring out a way to monetize this thing. Monetization brings the need for mass appeal, and mass appeal brings parents. That’s when the teens, who helped your social platform become famous, jump ship for greener pastures where their parents aren’t.
The good news for Snapchat is that it’s growing.
ComScore reports that 38 percent of smartphone users in between the ages of 25 and 34 are using the service. Surprisingly, 14 percent of smartphone users ages 35 and older are also on Snapchat, or at least have downloaded the app. The number of older users is up significantly from 2 percent just three years ago.
Though younger users might not be thrilled, social media companies don’t necessarily have to be cool to be profitable.